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Thomas Bailey

Diver
Diving

Thomas is the Nation Champion in 3m springboard, British Elite Junior platform bronze medalist 2016, Finished Gold in the South East Regional Championships for 1m and 3m springboard and 7.5m and 10m platform.

How did you get in to your sport? How were you introduced?

I was in acrobatic gymnastics for a few years. When I was 8, I wanted to try diving after watching a program about Tom Daley on television. I found it very inspirational & I did a taster session. 6 months later I was invited to take the tests for Talent Identification and I got in. In my first year of competitive diving, I was coached by Chris Mears, who is now an Olympian.

What is your biggest challenege you have faced in your sport? How did you overcome it?

Breaking my knee in trampoline training in January 2013 as it meant I had to miss more than 5 months of training which really impacted my diving. I even wanted to quit at one point because it was so hard to get back into it. Everybody had moved on & getting back to my level of fitness, let alone learning all the new dives I had missed, seemed impossible.

I got a lot of support from my parents and from my club. I listened to them. One step at a time. Once I went back properly in September ’13, I didn’t miss any training sessions, no matter how hard it was. Then it started feeling a bit easier because my body – and mind – was getting used to training that hard again. 18 months later, I became national champion.

It’s all about ‘willingness’ and ‘perseverance’.

What is your favourite sporting moment, either as a participant or spectator and why?

As a participant: becoming National Champion in 2015 as it was totally unexpected and a very happy moment.

As a spectator: watching Chris Mears (my 1st coach) at the London 2012 Olympics getting the highest score of the competition. And watching him again in Rio 2016 winning GOLD with Jack Laugher in 3m synchro

What are your top tips for aspiring athletes?

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! And never tell yourself something is too difficult: the more you try, the easier it gets. And practice makes perfect.

 

How has the Hampshire Talented Athlete Scheme helped you with your sport?

Financially, HTAS has covered the costs of one competition away per year, which is great and helps a lot. It gives me confidence because I feel supported.

HTAS has also provided me with free bus pass, fast track physio, free entry to sports centres, free courses.

Which 3 words best describe you?

Funny, Loyal and Talented.

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